Contributed by: Tash Gunawardana
Carlton came away with the win just by three points over a fearless Western Bulldogs at the Whitten Oval on a fine sunny day in Melbourne.
The match was slow moving with both teams just going through their paces until the fourth quarter when the Dogs came hard at the Blues with five goals.
It was the annual AFLW Pride Game between the two teams and they both wore commemorative pride guernsey’s.
Next week the Blues will host the Fremantle Dockers in the preliminary finals at Ikon Park.
It marks the first time the Blues will play in the AFLW finals.
Image Source: Michael Wilson
The Blues came out all guns blazing in the opening quarter and the Dogs struggled to get any flow into their game.
They had a three-goal quarter and kept the Dogs goalless.
The Blues scored the opening goal after a solid forward entry by Sarah Hosking to Tayla Harris.
Harris took the strong contested mark and hammered through the first major of the match from about 50m out.
Brooke Walker kicked long inside the Blues forward 50 and it cleared everyone and went through for a goal.
It was an impressive run down tackle by Chloe Dalton that created another scoring opportunity for the Blues and it resulted in Walker slotting her second goal in a row.
The Blues were up by 18 points at quarter time.
In the second term, the Blues continued to play with greater flair and smoother ball movement.
The Dogs inaccuracy let them down with five behinds to the Blues two goals.
Dalton opened the scoring for the Blues, as she put the football through the middle.
Walker slotted through her third goal of the contest and it was the Blues second consecutive goal of the quarter.
The Blues took an advantage of 25 points at the main break.
It was a slow sluggish third term, as there were only two behinds scored by the Blues.
There was one stoppage after another with both teams crowding the stoppages.
There was a hard clash of heads between Katie Brennan and Sarah Hosking at the start of the third term.
Brennan came away from the head collision a bit sore but Hosking unfortunately went down to the rooms and took a concussion test.
Late in the third quarter, it was reported that Hosking passed the concussion test and could play on.
The Blues led by 27 points at three quarter time.
The Dogs came out with lots of gusto and fought it out in a tense final stanza.
Brennan finally kicked the Dogs first goal, as she converted the set shot from about 40m out to open the scoring in the final term.
Aisling McCarthy scored the Dogs second goal in a row and it was a fitting goal for the Irishwoman on St Patrick’s Day.
McCarthy celebrated in true Irish style with an Irish jig.
The Dogs Libby Birch was awarded a 50m-penalty free kick and she converted the set shot truly from the goal square.
The Blues first goal of the final term came from the boot of Dalton after Katie Loynes passed it off.
There was some great team play from the Dogs that involved Hannah Scott from the backline to Monique Conti who kicked to Brennan.
Brennan kicked to Ellie Blackburn who put through the goal on the run.
Just before the siren sounded, Isabel Huntington booted through the Dogs fifth goal of the quarter.
The Blues came away with the three-point win over a gutsy Dogs outfit at the Whitten Oval.
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